Monday, June 25
Prosecco sparkling wine is the Italian sparkler which in Italy is almost a staple in every home. It is served to welcome guests when they visit; as an aperitif before meals; and/or with meals, and after meals.
It's one of my favorites for a couple of reasons -- it's inexpensive, it's bubbly and sparkly which makes it food friendly, and it's a perfect wine to toast and celebrate any day, just because.
Rose wines are also inexpensive. It's also a very food friendly wine and it's a good wine to have available for both the white wine lover and the red wine lover.
Do not confuse rose wine with white zinfandel, the sugary sweet "blush" wine. Rose wine is made like red wine using most of the common red wine grapes but the grape skins are removed early, before the color of the grape 'juice' turns red, giving the wine a rose or pink color.
With the acidity of white wines and the tannins of red wine rose wine is an excellent choice for summer entertaining. This combination is what makes rose wine very food friendly and is a great wine to have available for the summer BBQ's or just chillin' on the patio.
Pair rose wine with meat, cold salads, grilled fish, seafood and pasta.
Thursday, June 21
Grilled salmon on a bed of fresh spinach and mixed greens is the easiest meal to prepare. When your schedule is out-of-control and you need a healthy meal, this is it.
I made an easy mustard dressing and added slivered almonds for a simple and delicious dinner all in 15 minutes.
A well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer is all you need and you're ready to heat up the grill to get started!
One of my favorite salad dressings is honey mustard, so I made my own version since I do not buy bottled dressings. Of course you can use your own favorite dressing for salmon, or just leave it au naturel with a little salt, pepper and fresh lemon. Any way you like it is always The Best!
While the salmon is on the grill you can prepare the dressing in 2 minutes.
Easy Mustard Dressing
- 1 TBLS. mustard (any kind you like)
- 1/2 TBLS. cider vinegar
- 1/2-3/4 TBLS. olive oil
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. agave nectar (to taste)
- Mix all the ingredients in a small dish stirring well to combine and emulsify and then taste. Adjust the flavor by adding more of any ingredient to your liking.
I like mine a little sweet so I add a little more than 1/4 tsp. of agave.
Drizzle the dressing on the grilled salmon and mixed greens. Then add the slivered almonds.
Dinner is ready! in no time flat. This can be gluten free by using your favorite gluten free dressings. If you make this recipe just check the mustard and vinegar to be sure they are gluten free.
Monday, June 18
We are definitely into the warm summer weather and cold refreshing drinks are what we crave.
It's the time of year when we kick back, relax, and spend more time with friends and family sharing a refreshing drink and reminiscing.
The old standby Bloody Mary as a chaser with steak sandwiches is a classic we enjoy at the neighborhood pub sitting out on their deck. Its vegetable juice base sways us thinking it's a healthy drink.
Let's not forget the summer favorites -- Margaritas, Long Island Iced Tea and Cosmopolitans -- really delish but do we really know how many calories we are adding to our pepperoni pizza or nachos and burritos.
I really don't want to be a party-pooper, but here's a little bit of 'did you know?' how many calories are in your favorite cocktail.
Cosmopolitan -- 150 calories - not bad, but it's only a tiny 2.5 oz. glass.
Margarita -- from 350 to 500 calories for 6 oz. (depends on ingredients)
Long Island Iced Tea -- 600 calories for 8 oz.
Bloody Mary -- 125 calories for 6 oz.
Pina Colada -- 645 calories for 6 oz.
Red & White wine -- from 110 to 150 calories per 5 oz.
Beer -- light beers range from 75 to 95 per 12 oz.
The calorie counts can differ based on the ingredients used in each of the mixed drinks.
Calories in wine are based on the style of wine -- be it red, white, or dessert wine. The alcohol content in wine adds more calories gram for gram than the sugar content. However, don't be fooled by the dessert wines which are sometimes lower in alcohol yet they have a higher sugar content resulting in more calories than dry wine.
Oh, we are all going to have a large, cold, refreshing drink this summer and why not. Let's not worry about counting calories when we only do this once a year, well, maybe twice.
Thursday, June 14
I just returned from a terrific trip to the Northwest where it was cold and rainy. Now I have to get used to the
It's not stopping me from baking though. I've been a little obsessed with mini foods lately. Trying to stay on portion control is easier with small bites of food.
Since grampy luvs the little powdered donuts I thought I would look for a recipe for baked donuts. I found one on KingArthurFlour.com that looked easy enough to make.
I had to make a couple of batches until I finally came up with a donut that stands up to grampy's standards.
The recipe is very easy and it is a recipe that you can make and be totally done in less than an hour from start to cleanup. It's worth a try. If you do not have a mini donut pan, you can use a mini muffin pan but be sure to fill pan only half full (rather than the 2/3 full for a cupcake or muffin).
Baked Mini Doughnuts
(Adapted from kingarthurflour.com recipe)
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 TBLS. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/3 cup agave
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 TBLS. plain yogurt
- 1 TBLS. applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 3 TBLS. vegetable oil (or grapeseed)
- confectioner's sugar for coating
Pre-heat oven 375 degrees.
- In medium sized bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
- In separate bowl, add all the wet ingredients and wisk together until foamy.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir gently just until well combined. Spray mini donut pan with cooking spray and fill each doughnut form only half full.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until they spring back when you touch them lightly.
- Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 3 minutes. Drop them in confectioner's sugar to coat and place on tray.
- You can also dip them in melted chocolate or baste them with melted butter and dip them in cinnamon sugar.
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Wednesday, June 13
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Jamie at Love Bakes Good Cakes for giving me the Sunshine Award. Jamie is a relatively new blogger so do stop by and visit her blog. She has great recipes and terrific inspirational quotes.
The Sunshine Award is an award given to a blogger by another blogger "who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogoshere." I'm flattered that Jamie included me in her list.
Pay it Forward -- here's how it goes: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer 10 questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award! Don't forget to copy and paste the award on your blog!
I'm definitely one to follow directions but I have to say that choosing 10 bloggers from the thousands of bloggers I follow can be a daunting challenge. I couldn't possibly pick 10 -- even at random -- without feeling that I have hurt someone's feelings. So I will virtually pass this award on to all the bloggers I follow and hope that they too will share some "Sunshine" with other bloggers as well.
- O.K. so here's 10 Questions/Favorites:
- 1. Food -- Pizza & ice cream - no special order
- 2. Color -- red
- 3. Animal -- puppy dogs
4. Holiday -- any holiday when family is together
5. Number -- 13 6. Movie/Book -- I can't remember the last time I saw a good movie or read a good book. movie-Casablanca -- book-To Kill A Mockingbird (kills 2 birds with one stone) 7. Flower -- hydrangea 8. Activity -- shopping (is that an activity?) 9. Season -- Fall 10. Hobby -- I'm a jack of all trades and master of none. I enjoy crafting, sewing, DIY home improvements, and cooking & baking
Thank You Jamie for being a great friend and I look forward to sharing all my kitchen secrets : ), well, maybe they aren't such great secrets but quick tips can be helpful too.
Thursday, June 7
Smoothies are so flexible. They are sweet or savory and healthy, and then there is the tropical frozen drink that includes an alcoholic beverage. All very delicious!
Some helpful tips for making smoothies is to:
- use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes (slice up ripe bananas before freezing)
- add liquid -- either milk (dairy or non-dairy), filtered water, or juice
- if sweetness is needed use agave nectar
- for added nutrition, add either flax seeds, tofu, yogurt, or protein powder
After I enjoyed Cheri's tropical smoothie I decided to make another a few days later for my daughter but I didn't have any melon or bananas. So I just used berries for a quick and simple afternoon snack.
Berry Smoothie Snack
(yields approx. 12-14 oz.)
- 1 cup combined strawberries, raspberries, blueberries (whatever you have)
- 1 cup filtered water & 1/2 cup milk (or add juice 1/2 cup at a time until desired consistency)**
- 2 TBLS. agave**
- 1 TBLS. flax seeds
- Add all ingredients to blender or Ninja and puree until smooth. If too thick add a little more liquid. **If using fruit juices be sure to taste for sweetness before adding any sugars.
Nothing goes to waste, you can even use up the last of the fruit juice. It's delicious and you're also saving money.
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Monday, June 4
Here's a "Did You Know?" list of June Holidays!
Are you a holiday lover? Then June's list of holidays may be just for you. Here goes:
June 4 -- National Slurpee Day -- It's an opportunity to run (not walk) to 7-Eleven for your favorite flavor.
June 5 -- Babysitter Appreciation Day -- Have lots of snacks on hand in case the kids are more than a handful of trouble.
June 7 -- Official Hugging Day -- This can be a game changer in harassment complaints. Be careful out there.
June 8 -- National No Computer Use Day -- This is what everyone who works outside the home has been waiting for, yeah!!!!
June 9 -- Buy a Stranger Coffee Day -- How surprised the last person in line will be when you buy him/her a cup of coffee. You'll have to walk to the back of the line to give it to him/her, but that's o.k., it's a holiday!!!!